Hiccups Help Brain Development in Babies, study saysVignesh Subbaian (Author) Published Date : Nov 13, 2019 11:31 IST
Hiccups of newborn babies are not only lovable but also linked to brain growth:
When your newborn baby hiccups, be happy that its brain is growing. It is the finding of the researchers from University College London and reported in the Clinical Neurophysiology journal in its latest issue. Babies hiccup for nearly 15 minutes every day to trigger brain signals that help the baby's brain figure out breathing. But for adults, it could be still to only create an embarrassment of the funny sounds rather than any significant advantage like that of babies.
How the study conducted to find hiccups that help brain growth in newborn babies?Researchers of UCL or University College of London monitored 13 newborn babies and found that hiccupping triggered a massive wave of brain signals. The babies were a mixture of pre-term and full-term, ranging from 30 to 42 weeks gestational age. And they found out that they could aid their brain development by placing electrodes on their scalps and sensors on their torsos. During the hiccups, the babies' diaphragms produced three brain waves. Researchers believe that the third brainwave enables the babies to link the "hic" sound to their feeling of physical contraction.
Researchers Kimberley Whitehead & Lorenzo Fabrizi explanation:
The published new study's lead author told that hiccup causes big muscle contractions, which are suitable for developing the brain and also suddenly gives a big boost of input. It helps the brain cells of the babies to all link together to represent a particular body part. For adults, she said that it is only a hangover of the early periods.
Lorenzo Fabrizi, the study's senior author, says that brain activity may help babies to learn to monitor the breathing muscles and hence, control breathing voluntarily. He also emphasized hiccup like networks is a crucial developmental milestone for newborns.
The same research team has previously found that baby's kick in the womb to create a mental map of their own body. And this newly published study of hiccups helping newborn babies to control breathing and brain development will help in a lot of future studies.